Sedona, while well known for it’s red rock formations and off-road jeep tours, has so much to offer everyone. There are great wineries, spas, hiking trails and even rock sliding for the kids. North of Sedona, is Oak Creek Canyon which contains several campgrounds, recreational areas and hiking trails that follow the beautiful creek at the bottom of the canyon. You can swim, fish or simply relax by the creek to escape the summer heat. I have been to these places several times, but had never really taken the time to photograph the beautiful landscapes. I made sure to remedy that this summer and below are some of the images from the trip.
At the turn of the century, the mining boom in Arizona brought about numerous towns that prospered for several years. Tombstone, AZ grew from a population of 100 to 14,000 in less than seven years during which the town produced between $40 to $85 million in mined silver. The majority of these boom towns lasted until the precious minerals were all mined or catastrophic events turned the once prosperous towns into ghost towns. Many of the remains of these ghost towns still exist all over Arizona today. I visited two such sites: Pearce, AZ and Tombstone, AZ.
As many of you know, last night was a total lunar eclipse easily visible in North America. I decided to capture the progression of the eclipse so I went out into the dark desert at 10:30 pm and set up my camera. The full moon started out so bright I hardly needed a flashlight to walk around all the cactus and take several photos. As the eclipse progressed, the night became pitch black. During that almost complete darkness the stars looked brighter than I have ever seen them and star-gazing in Arizona is an incomparable experience. However, the pitch black night did have some drawbacks. I was sitting amongst all the prickly cactus, wild animals and I am sure a few snakes with only a flashlight . When a coyote ran very close by me, I almost called it quits. However, with the moon beginning to glow a blood red, I knew I couldn’t pack up quite yet. Below are some of the images from that night.
I attended my first Renaissance Festival this weekend. It was a bombardment on the senses in the best possible way. From the food to the uniquely dressed patrons, there was always something to see, smell, taste or touch. The Renaissance Festival is held in Apache Junction between Tucson and Phoenix on 30 acres of desert land. There are hundreds of shows, shops, games, and other amusements such as fortune telling and face painting. So after purchasing a garland of flowers for my hair, I set off with my camera to capture as much of the festival as I could. It was impossible to see it all, but I was able to see what I had come to see…jousting and my brother-in-law eating a turkey leg with his bare hands.
Well it’s that time of year in Arizona again. Rodeos are passing through town and people take to the bleachers to see the cowboy’s and cowgirl’s skills in the arena. I once again attended the Silver Spur Rodeo in Yuma, Arizona. The theme every year is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink,” where proceeds from the rodeo go to fight breast cancer. Seeing all the tough, dirty cowboys in pink always puts a smile on my face. Well I have dusted off my camera and myself and below are some of my photos from the afternoon.
With the holidays, I have been able to see a lot of family that I do not get to see very often. My cousin Jessica is currently living in Chicago and this was her first visit home since moving away. I enjoy photographing her as we always have a great time and she is quick to say “OK”, if I ask her to climb a tree, lay in weeds and so on. This year, I photographed her in the backyard.
A couple weekends ago, I went with a family to Catalina State Park in North Tucson to do their portraits. The weather was beautiful and the family was great to work with. The children loved getting their pictures taken and were excited to be hiking all over the park. We hiked up a trail that followed the ridge of a mountain. There were spectacular views and great desert scenery.
For my sister’s 30th birthday, I decided to plan a trip to Sedona. We invited some friends and rented a house surrounded by the amazing red rocks of the area. We had a wonderful time both playing pool at the house and exploring the city and outdoors. It is one on my favorite places in all of Arizona and truly a beautiful setting any time of year.
At the end of July, I photographed a quinceañera (15th birthday celebration) for a family friend. It was a beautiful event which included a mass and reception. The event was held in Phoenix, AZ. The birthday girl, Alyssa, was beautiful in a flowing gold ball gown and tiara. Below are some images from the days events.